BLACK SABBATH members Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Geeer Butler have vowed to continue recording their new album without Bill Ward after the drummer announced that he will not be able to participate in the recording of the reunited band’s new album or perform with them on tour unless he is presented with what he described as a “fair agreement” and a “signable contract” that financially reflects his contributions to SABBATH’s history and his standing as a founding member of the band.
Ward issued a statement in which he said in part, “At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the BLACK SABBATH album and tour. However, I am unable to continue unless a ‘signable’ contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band.”
Ward added that he worked last year in “good faith” with fellow original members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, including rehearsals and a November press conference in Los Angeles. But then, he wrote, “Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another ‘unsignable’ contract was handed to me.”
The drummer, who played on 10 of SABBATH’s first 11 studio albums, emphasized, “Although this has put me in some kind of holding pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the U.S. for England. More importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely want to tour with BLACK SABBATH.”
The recording sessions for the original band’s first new album in 33 years were recently moved to London so that Iommi, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, could be close to his doctors.
Ward wrote that he’s “spent every day” getting ready to head to England, but added, “My guess is . . . I will know nothing of what’s happening unless I sign ‘the unsignable contract.’”
He also wrote, “The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, I also have to stand for something and not sign on. If I sign ‘as is,’ I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician.”
Ward addressed the possibility of his being replaced, saying, “I hope you will not hold me responsible for the failure of an original BLACK SABBATH lineup as promoted . . . It would be a sad day in rock if this current situation fell to the desires of a few.”
In response, Iommi, Osbourne and Butler have issued the following statement:
“We were saddened to hear yesterday via Facebook that Bill declined publicly to participate in our current BLACK SABBATH plans… We have no choice but to continue recording without him although our door is always open… We are still in the U.K. with Tony. Writing and recording the new album and on a roll… See you at Download!!!”
SABBATH is scheduled to release its new album later this year and is confirmed to play the U.K.’s Download festival in June. All other tour plans, however, are up in the air pending Iommi’s ability to overcome his illness.
The Black Sabbath reunion has hit another speed bump. Last month Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi announced that he was diagnosed with lymphoma, forcing to band to move their recording sessions to London and reportedly pull out of a planned Coachella headlining slot. Now drummer Bill Ward has issued a long statement indicating that he will not participate in the reunion unless he is presented with “signable contract” that “reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band.”
This is not the first time that Ward has publicly battled with Black Sabbath’s management team. In 2004, Sharon Osbourne announced that Faith No More’s Mike Bordin would be filling in for Ward on the Ozzfest tour. “Last week I did receive a proposal which allowed no room for negotiation,” Ward said at the time. “It was a cul-de-sac proposal, in my opinion, where the only answer was yes or no.” The two parties eventually came to an agreement before the tour, and Ward did participate.
Ward was also going to play drums in the Ronnie James Dio-era Black Sabbath reunion (billed as Heaven and Hell) in 2006, but he backed out for unknown reasons. Let’s all hope that the two parties are able to come together this time. Below is the complete text of Bill Ward’s letter.
Dear Sabbath Fans, Fellow Musicians and Interested Parties,
At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour. However, I am unable to continue unless a “signable” contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band. Last year, I worked diligently in good faith with Tony, Ozzy and Geezer. And on 11/11/11, again in good faith, I participated in the L.A. press conference. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another “unsignable” contract was handed to me.
Let me say that although this has put me in some kind of holding pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the U.S. for England. More importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely want to tour with Black Sabbath.
Since the news of Tony’s illness, and the understanding that the band would move production to the U.K., I’ve spent every day getting to or living in a place of readiness to leave. That involves something of a task, and as I’ve tried to find out what’s going on with the U.K. sessions, I’ve realized that I’ve been getting “the cold shoulder” (and, I might add, not for the first time). Feeling somewhat ostracized, my guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what’s happening unless I sign “the unsignable contract.”
The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, I also have to stand for something and not sign on. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician. I believe in freedom and freedom of speech. I grew up in a hard rock/metal band. We stood for something then, and we played from the heart with honesty and sincerity. I am in the spirit of integrity, far from the corporate malady, I am real and honest, fair and compassionate.
If I’m replaced, I have to face you, the beloved Sabbath fans. I hope you will not hold me responsible for the failure of an original Black Sabbath lineup as promoted. Without fault finding, I want to assure everyone that my loyalty to Sabbath is intact.
So here I am. I lay my truth down before you. I’m good to go IF I get a “signable” contract. I don’t want to let anyone down, especially Black Sabbath and all the Sabbath fans. You know I love you. It would be a sad day in Rock if this current situation fell to the desires of a few.
My position is not greed-driven. I’m not holding out for a “big piece” of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal. I’d like something that recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago. After the last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract. I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honor all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning.
BLACK SABBATH have issued the following official statement:
“With the news that Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, his bandmates would like everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time. Iommi is currently working with his doctors to establish the best treatment plan – the ‘Iron Man’ of rock & roll remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery.”
This comes as Black Sabbath – Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums) – are writing and recording their first album in 33 years in Los Angeles (still set for release this fall) with producer Rick Rubin. They will now go to the UK to continue to work with Tony.
Further information will be released as it becomes available.
According to Wikipedia, Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphocytes, a type of cell that forms part of the immune system. Typically, lymphomas present as a solid tumor of lymphoid cells. Treatment might involve chemotherapy and in some cases radiotherapy and/or bone marrow transplantation, and can be curable depending on the histology, type, and stage of the disease.
Black Sabbath will headline a number of Europe’s premier festivals in 2012.
After announcing their reunion on 11.11.11, these worldwide appearances are one of the most anticipated music events of 2012. Kicking off on Friday, May 18 in Moscow at Olimpski, the tour will bring Black Sabbath to the masses at: Download Festival (UK), Azkena Rock Festival (Spain), Hellfest (France), Graspop Metal Meeting (Belgium) and Gods of Metal (Italy). However, that’s only the beginning of the group’s global tour which will take the band around the world including countries the band has never played before and others they have not visited in more than three decades.
The four original members of Black Sabbath – guitarist Tony Iommi, singer Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward – are currently recording their first studio album in 33 years with legendary producer Rick Rubin (METALLICA, SLAYER) for release worldwide on Vertigo Records, and Vertigo/Universal Republic Records in the US in the fall 2012.
Revered music and spoken word artist, HENRY ROLLINS, has said that “Black Sabbath’s music is ultimate bone-powderizing gear. Any band worth their weight in napalm wishes they had written ‘War Pigs.’ The critics never got it, but the fans did and still do, and the music has not lost any thunder with time but in fact resonates more loudly…Hail the mighty Black Sabbath now and forever.”
Music fans across Europe are in for a night of epic proportions from the Grammy-winning, Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductees on this very historic return.
Black Sabbath’s confirmed European tour dates are below:
18 – Moscow, Russia – Olimpiski
20 – St. Petersburg, Russia – New Arena
23 – Helsinki, Finland – Hartwall Arena
25 – Stockholm, Sweden – Stadium
29 – Bergen, Norway – Bergen Calling Festival
31 – Oslo, Norway – Spektrum
2 – Malmo, Sweden – Malmo Stadium
4 – Dortmund, Germany – Westfalenhalle
10 – Donnington, UK – Download Festival
12 – Rotterdam, Holland – Ahoy
15 – Bilbao, Spain – Azkena Rock Festival
17 – Nantes, France – Hellfest
19 – Paris, France – Bercy
22 – Dessel, Belgium – Graspop Metal Meeting
24 – Milan, Italy – Gods of Metal
Versailles Records recently announced plans for the spring 2012 release of No More Tears: A Millennium Tribute To OZZY OSBOURNE.
The label has now announced the guests that will appear on the album, which is set to cover highlights from Ozzy’s entire BLACK SABBATH and subsequent 30-year solo career.
Rockers include: Vince Neil (MÖTLEY CRÜE), George Lynch (DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB), Keri Kelli (ALICE COOPER, RATT, L.A. GUNS), Mark Slaughter (SLAUGHTER), Chris Poland (MEGADETH), Stu Hamm (JOE SATRIANI, STEVE VAI), Eric Singer (KISS, BLACK SABBATH, BADLANDS, THE CULT), and Derrick LeFevre (LILLIAN AXE) among others.
Along with the aforementioned name players, the record will feature a global collection of many of the hottest rock and metal bands on the rise around the world, from Europe to Japan, South America to the former Soviet block, reflecting The Prince of Darkness’s world-wide fan base.
Featured Millennium bands will include:
TAKARA, LEAVING EDEN, THE MADELINE HAZE, DIRTY ROSE, FIERCE ATMOSPHERES, KINGSHIFTER, CRYPTIC CHAOS, STONE DIRT, W.A.N.T.E.D., MATVEY, SHANE DOSS, TITAN’S EVE, SNAKESKYN WHISKEY, BUGSY PARKER, ATTICA RAGE, SAGE4, METAL HORSE, CRITICAL SOLUTION, SKYSCREAMERS, STALWART, HIGH VOLTAGE, SLANT, CRITICAL SOLUTION, DAWN OF THE FINAL DAY, NASTY REPUTATION,KINOATH, RAVAGE, REACT METAL, TATTOO FRANK & JERIES, IN HIS BLOOD, ALFREIH, QUARTERMOC, BLACK IRIS, CORNIVUS, ENDLESS VENDETTA, A NEW DECREE, ANNIHILATION, DRAWZZNIKK, ALL BUT IMPOSSIBLE, AL SOLO FEATURING MANURI, MARTIAN HONEY, DEVIL, JUST ONE FIX, MANTASUKA, DOOM DOGS, ERLING SOLEM, MR. THUMB, PERRY MASON, DENNIS DEEN, MR. MURRAY.
The album will be released on May 8th, 2012 to retail nationally.
The original lineup of the legendary heavy metal band BLACK SABBATH — Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums) — has reunited and will release a brand new album in 2012. The group’s first studio effort in 33 years will be produced by Rick Rubin, who has previously worked with METALLICA, SLIPKNOT, SLAYER and SYSTEM OF A DOWN, among many others. A world tour will follow, including an appearance at the U.K.’s Download festival on June 12, 2012.
Legendary guitarist Tony Iommi told Billboard.com that he and fellow original BLACK SABBATH members Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward assembled earlier this year at Osbourne‘s home in California to play some music “for a bit of fun, and to see if we could all play. It was good, but it was just purely, ‘Let’s have a go and see what happens.’” Iommi said the group planned to get together again “very soon…to discuss things and see what’s going to happen and see what we’re going to do. It’s all in the air at the moment, but it’d be nice to think we can actually do something.”
Iommi did not give any hints about the press conference the group is holding in Los Angeles, but said, “We’re talking. We’ve always been talking, to be honest. We’ve always been in touch with each other. There might be a lawsuit in-between us, but we still talk to each other like nothing’s happened.”
All four original BLACK SABBATH members will reunite for a press conference on November 11 at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, California — the same venue where the band made its Los Angeles debut on November 11, 1970 (41 years ago), opening for ALICE COOPER — at exactly 11:11 a.m. They are widely expected to announce that they have begun writing material for a new album in addition to preparing to play their first live shows since the summer of 2005.
The rumor is that Black Sabbath will tour North America with Judas Priest and Motorhead followed by heading to Europe for the spring/summer festival season.
Noisecreep are reporting that BLACK SABBATH have sent out invites for an announcement ceremony, next Friday, November 11th. According to the invitation, all four original members – Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward – will all be on hand for the announcement. The private event will be hosted by HENRY ROLLINS, and will be held at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, CA.
Black Sabbath’s official Facebook page has been updated with the image below:
Black Sabbath 11-11-11
According to rumours, the godfathers of heavy metal will be teaming up with fellow UK metal gods JUDAS PRIEST and the legendary MOTÖRHEAD for a tour of North America in the spring, before Sabbath heads over to Europe for the summer festival season in June/July.
While the original members of BLACK SABBATH – guitarist Tony Iommi, singer Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward – appear to be reuniting with one rehearsal already in the can, there’s talk that a tour will happen in early 2012. According to rumours passed along to BraveWords.com, the godfathers of heavy metal will be teaming up with fellow UK metal gods JUDAS PRIEST and the legendary MOTÖRHEAD for a tour of North America in the spring, before Sabbath heads over to Europe for the summer festival season in June/July. More news as it develops. No other details are available at this time. Once again, these should be taken as rumours and have not been confirmed by band management.
BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi has told Terrorizer that the original line-up of the band – also featuring singer Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward – have been rehearsing for the rumoured reunion tour that could begin early next year.
“We’ve had a rehearsal and played some of the old stuff and to be together again was great. We’re all on good terms and we’re at a stage where we can play together again. It would be good if we could and I suppose it’s the closest it’s been to be able to do that. It could happen!”
Iommi spoke with Andrew Williams from Metro.co.uk recently about his new autobiography, life as a rock star and whether Ozzy Osbourne will ever rejoin the band. Here are a few excerpts from the chat:
Metro.co.uk: What’s your relationship with Ozzy Osbourne like now?
Iommi: “It’s good. We’ve had our ups and downs in the past but it’s been blown out of proportion to the point where, from the outside it looks really bitter, but we’ve never really fallen out.”
Metro.co.uk: Will you record with him again?
Iommi: “Who knows? It’s like when we had Ronnie James Dio with us, we broke up, got back together, did another album and tour. You can never tell. We got back together with Ozzy in 1997 and toured so you never know what’s around the corner.”
Metro.co.uk: What have you got left to achieve in your career?
Iommi: “I’m doing the soundtrack to three horror films, which I’m looking forward to. I’ve got a lot of ideas but won’t know where to start until I see the films.”
Ozzy Osbourne Performs at Madison Square Garden - December 1, 2010
Billboard.com’s Jillian Mapes reports:
Speculation surrounding a BLACK SABBATH reunion including OZZY OSBOURNE arose in August, when the Birmingham Mail reported that Sabbath guitarist TONY IOMMI said the original lineup was writing new material together. Iommi back-tracked on his official website, expressing disappointment that his statements – reportedly told in confidence – made waves. But he never actually denied the claims that the heavy metal gods were collaborating in some capacity.
Speaking with Billboard.com regarding his upcoming second book, Trust Me, I’m Dr. Ozzy, Osbourne also touched on the swirling Sabbath reunion rumors.
“Yes, it’s a very, very strong possibility,” he says of getting the old band back together. “It’s in the very early stages, so we haven’t recorded anything yet. If it works out, it’ll work out. If it doesn’t, I’ll keep doing my thing.”
Bootleg : Black Sabbath - Live at Hollywood Bowl, California, 15 September 1972
Guitar legend Tony Iommi’s manager Ralph Baker has put a new spin on the rumors that the original members of BLACK SABBATH – including singer Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward – will be reuniting for an album and a tour next year. Speaking to the Birmingham Mail earlier today, Baker said Iommi “was not saying that it wasn’t true,” referring to his statement released yesterday.
When asked whether Iommi considered the story in the Birmingham Mail (here) to be untrue Baker said: “No, he doesn’t say that.”
But he added: “We haven’t got anything in place. He’s not denying that the guys have been talking but there’s nothing in the way that’s been implied in the statements that you made.
“He made them to you in June and he felt that he made them to you off-the-record.”
In response to online reports claiming the original BLACK SABBATH lineup is getting back together, guitarist Tony Iommi has issued the following official statement:
“I’m saddened that a Birmingham journalist whom I trusted has chosen this point in time to take a conversation we had back in June and make it sound like we spoke yesterday about a Black Sabbath reunion.
At the time I was supporting the Home Of Metal exhibition and was merely speculating, shooting the breeze, on something all of us get asked constantly, ‘Are you getting back together?’.
Thanks to the internet it’s gone round the world as some sort of “official” statement on my part, absolute nonsense. I hope he’s enjoyed his moment of glory, he won’t have another at my expense.
To my old pals, Ozzy, Geezer and Bill, sorry about this, I should have known better.
Bootleg : Black Sabbath - Live at Hollywood Bowl, California, 15 September 1972
TMD has obtained extremely rare concert audio of BLACK SABBATH performing the cut “Tomorrow’s Dream” on September 15, 1972 at the Hollywood Bowl. The song comes off the legendary act’s fourth studio album Black Sabbath Vol. 4, released just ten days later on September 25, 1972. Though it has since become a classic, “Tomorrow’s Dream”,
released as the record’s single, failed to chart.
It was during the production that the band’s excessive usage of cocaine and other illicit drugs began to take a serous toll on them. As the story goes, drummer Bill Ward thought his playing was so horrendous that he feared he would soon be kicked out.